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Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

1. Statistics Austria provides actual anonymized data to researchers as scientific use files. Actual anonymized data has properties, which rules out straightforward direct or indirect identification of statistical units (individuals, firms) (see also “What is a scientific use file?”).

2. Experts are able to get access to microdata via the Safe Center located at Statistics Austria in Vienna. This data there is anonymous. The danger of potential re-identification of statistical units is reduced by the conditions and regulations as the safe center (see also “What is the Safe Center at Statistics Austria”).

3. Scientific Institution may apply for online access (Remote Access) to potentially Micro data, which are anonymized but potentially indirectly identifiable. This type of access is open for researchers, who are contractually affiliated with a registered scientific institution and who successfully apply for a research project at the AMDC.

In general, we offer all micro data used by Statistics Austria to produce statistical results. In addition, we use administrative data from the federal state (registers produced based on legal obligations) which are also open for research projects at the AMDC. The access is based on legal texts of the Federal Law on Research Organization (original source: Forschungsorganisationsgesetzes – FOG, BGBl. Nr. 341/1981).

We collect meta-information on the available micro data in the micro data catalogue. Beside our collection, scientific institutions can contribute Micro Data, which can be matched to our data (as long as this merge does not raised any legal concerns with the federal statistics law).

Based on the Federal Law concerning data protection issues (Datenschutz-Grundverordnung, Verordnung (EU) 2016/679), data provided by AMDC should be essential for the research project. For this purpose, the project proposals need to justify the data requests and show that scope of data requested is necessary for adequately testing of their hypotheses respectively (for the original legal source of this requirement please refer to: Art. 3 lit. c EU law (EU) Nr. 557/2013). In fact, this requires the research to detail the type of data, which they intend to access in their project proposal. This requirement also manifests in § 31 Abs. 3 Federal Statistics Law.

Research units in public administration (according to § 31 Abs. 8 Z 10 und Abs. 9 Federal Statistics Law) are units – among others – Federal Ministries, which conduct research to improve administrative processes and public policy. They fulfil their tasks following principles as objectivity and transparency. Such research units have to be legally defined and their members have to conduct their research and their research conclusions independently, autonomously and without being bound to directives

Given that these research units fulfill these requirements, they can register for online access and submit research proposals. This data may not be used (under any circumstances) for administrative purposes.

Register data according to Federal research organization law (FOG) are administrative data according to law. They are provided by the register data producing entities for researchers (for legal context see: § 38b FOG, (§ 31a Federal Statistical Law).

Breach of Data Protection Regulation is legally sanction (for legal context see: § 17 Abs. 4 Federal Statistcal Law, Secrecy of Statistics as Amtsgeheimnis § 310 Criminal Code). For non-federal personnel (e.g. lead of research projects at registered academic units), saving data on external devices, photography of data, screen shots or the use of protected data for other purposes is prohibited by (§ 17 Abs. 3&4, § 31 Abs. 13 Federal Statistical Law).

Independent of the legal situation, Statistics Austria sanctions scientific institutions, if one of its members violates General Data Protection Regulations. The sanctions will not be enforced if the scientific institutions can credibly demonstrate that they have taken measures to make sure that their work on the research project complies with General Data Protection Regulation. Credibility depends on whether the measures are adequate to protect the data in the future. The scientific unit has to provide evidence (e.g. documents) to demonstrate that these measures are in place.

Questions about Remote Access (AMDC)

Questions about AMDC registry

The scientific units can register with the AMDC, which also includes online access to microdata after a successful project proposal. For this purpose, they have to complete the following steps:

First, please check whether your scientific institution is already registered for remote access with the AMDC. You find a list of all registered scientific institutions here: Akkreditierten wissenschaftliche Einrichtungen (.pdf).

Second, carefully assess whether your scientific institution fulfils all requirements to file the application (see FAQs).

Third, discuss the application within your scientific institution.

Fourth, the person applying for accreditation of the institution conducts a registration for the application form of the AMDC.

Fifth, log in on the online application form and fill in the required information (Name and type of the organization, legal form, contact …).

Sixth, Statistics Austria evaluated the application. 

Seventh, the result of the evaluation by Statistics Austria will be sent via E-Mail to the person applying for accredition as well as their legal substitute four weeks after submitting the application at the latest.

We continuously update the list of registered scientific institutions. For the full list check the section Remote Access (AMDC) subsection "Accredited scientific institutions".

The registry with the AMDC is limited to a maximum of 5 year initially. Within this time span, (contractual) members of the scientific institutions are able to submit research proposals. A successful project proposal provides online access to the micro data respectively.

Before expiration of the registry, Statistics Austria notifies your scientific institution and offers a possibility of a renewal of the registry.

Possibly the registry could expire earlier if the scientific institutions does loose the properties, which qualifies it to be a scientific institutions according to the registry process.

According to § 31 Abs. 7 Federal Statistics Law 2000, BGBl. I Nr. 163/1999, scientific institutions have to meet the following requirements:

  • Research quality at a level of Universities and University-like institutions (Fachhochschulen, research organizations)
  • Research out has to be accessible for the general public
  • It requires a own legal form with an explicit focus on research
  • Independence and autonomy of research and no interference with the conclusion of the research
  • Infrastructure requires to be adequate to guarantee compliance with Data Protection Regulations. 

The applicable technical and infrastructural requirements for compliance with the Data Protection Regulations can be found at Remote Access (AMDC) substection "Technical-orginisational measures at the AMDC".  

The simplified registry process is mentioned in § 31 Abs. 8 Federal Statistics Law 2000. The institutions are listed as:

  1. 1. universities under the Universitätsgesetz32 2002, BGBl33 I No. 120/2002;

    2. private higher education institutions and private universities under the Privathochschulgesetz34 (PrivHG), BGBl35. I No. 77/2020;

    3. universities of applied sciences under the Fachhochschulgesetz36, BGBl37. I No. 340/1993;

    4. teacher training colleges under the Hochschulgesetz38 2005, BGBl39. No. 30/2006;

    5. AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH;

    6. the Institute of Science and Technology – Austria pursuant to Article 1 of the IST-Austria-Gesetz40 (ISTAG), BGBl.41 I No. 69/2006;

    7. the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) pursuant to Article 1 of the ÖAW-Gesetz (ÖAWG)42, BGBl43. No. 569/1921;

    8. Silicon Austria Labs GmbH pursuant to Article 1 of the Bundesgesetz über den Beteiligungserwerb an der Si.A. Errichtungs-GmbH und der Aufnahme weiterer Gesellschafter im Wege einer Kapitalerhöhung44 [Federal Act on the Acquisition of Holdings in Si.A. Errichtungs-GmbH and the inclusion of additional shareholders by means of a capital increase], BGBl45. No. 30/2018;

    9. the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft – Austrian association for the promotion of scientific research;

    10. the Federal Institute for Quality Assurance in the Austrian School System (IQS) based on the IQS-Gesetz46, BGB47l. I No. 50/2019, research departments in public administration and the Austrian Central Bank and the budget service of the Austrian Parliament, where the institute and the relevant research departments and the budget service are independent when drafting their scientific conclusions;

    11. Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH;

    12. the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO);

    13. the Institut für Höhere Studien – Institute for Advanced Studies (HIS);

    14. Gesundheit Österreich GmbH; and

    15. Complexity Science Hub (CSH).

Questions about the application form

The researcher requires a contract with a registered scientific institution. The research proposal application has to be submitted by the lead of the research project. One personal can submit more than one research project proposals.

A research proposal has to be submitted via our online application on the website of Statistics Austria. A necessary condition to submit a proposal is that the affiliated scientific institution has to be affiliated with the project lead has to be registered with the AMDC. When this registration is successfully conducted, it is possiible to log in to the online application form.  After reviewing the proposal, Statistics Austria contacts the project lead and communicates the decision. In case of successful application, Statistics Austria submits and offer to the project lead, which has to be accepted within a specified time period.

The structure of the proposal is detailed in § 31 Abs. 6 Federal Statistics Law:


1. all evidence of the existence of conditions under paragraph (7);

2. a detailed description of the research project pursuant to paragraph (10);

3. adequately specified type of statistical data, in particular based on units, characteristics, attributes or in terms of timing and geographical area, as required for the research project;

4. undertaking of the scientific institution to use the statistical data solely for the indicated research project and make the main findings of the research project publicly available free of charge on the Internet;

5. an assurance that the data under paragraphs (3)-(5) will not be published or made available to third parties and as a result of the research project any conclusion on the data subjects (Article 3 subsection 14) is excluded, including by means of indirect identification, and that the Federal Statistical Office will be indemnified and held harmless for any claims that might be made against it due to breach of this obligation;

6. an assurance that data security measures in the General Data Protection Regulation and all data protection requirements and the requirements pursuant to paragraph (7) subsection 4 are observed;

7. an assurance that the participation of the Federal Statistical Office is specified in the role of “Austrian Micro Data Centre” in respect of data processing in scientific publications on the findings of the research project;

8. an assurance that only persons who are cooperating on the institution’s research project will be given access to the provided statistical data, and who give a written undertaking to comply with the confidentiality obligations pursuant to Article 17.

The following information has to be provided n project proposal for online access to the data(in § 31 Abs. 10 Federal Statistics Law 2000). It includes:

1. the legal purpose of the research project;

2. the reasons why statistical data are required for the research project;

3. the scientific director of the research project and other persons cooperating on the research project who should receive online access to statistical data and have undertaken in writing to observe confidentiality pursuant to Article 17; moreover, on the type of legal relationships between these persons on the one hand and the scientific institution on the other hand, whereby only a service contract is permitted here;

4. the data categories specified under paragraph (6) subsection 3, to which access is required, and the methods of analysis thereof; and

5. the targeted findings of the research project

The full list of current and completed research projects  are listed under Remote Access (AMDC) in the subsection “active and completed research projects”

Questions about online access

Secure online access via a personalized technical user is provided by a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with 2-factor-Identification. A personalized VDI use are provided for users with a contractual affiliation with a registered scientific institution. The online access includes data analysis with statistics software (such as R, Python, STATA and SPSS).

Secure online access does in fact imply that the data remains with Statistics Austria and is store at a local server. The data is copied via VDI and they are not permitted to be exported to any external devices (this includes printing). Moreover research are not permitted to import data to the VDI.

The remote access requires scientific institutions and the affiliated reserachers to comply with the technical-organizational measures (TOMs).

The TOMs are available at Remote Access (AMDC) under the subsection technical-organizational measures (TOMs).

It is based on EU-law (Art. 23 (EG) No. 223/2009 on European Statistcs, ABl. No. L 87 from 31.3.2009 p. 164, and EU-Law (EU) No. 557/2013 for the practical implications of the law (EG) No. 223/2009 on European Statistics concern online access of confidential data for scientific use, ABl. No. L 164 from 18.6.2013 p. 16). Acoording to Art. 23 EU-law (EG) No. 223/2009 national Statistcal Offices are permitted to offer access to confidential data if indirect identification of statistical uints are potentially possible.

Online access to micro data for reserachers is regulated in §§ 31, 31a and 31b Federal Statistic Law.

Online access to micro data is only approved by Statistics Austria if the scientific institutions fulfil all requirements. They are detailed in the requirements for registration of scientific institutions (see also “questions about registration”).

Online access to register data is based on the research organization law (FOG) in the Federal Statistics Law § 31a. Scientific institutions are subject to different legal requirements (see also:  General questions on micro data use: what is register data according to research organization law (FOG).

Currently laws detailing the conditions for the use of register data are under development. In the second half of 2020 the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (in accordance with the responsible subunit) provide further information on the access to register data by scientific institutions.

The technical-organizational mesasures (TOMs)  apply to statistical micro data as well as register data. Details are available under Remote Access (AMDC) in the subsection “Technical-Organizational Measures” (TOMs).

Researchers need a contractual affiliation* with a registered scientific institution. The access is granted conditional on a successful research proposal. Access is only approved via a personalized- technical user via VDI. It is necessary to comply with technical and infrastructure related requirements of data protection detailed by Statistics Austria.

The technical-organizational measures (TOMs)  apply to statistical micro data as well as register data. Details are available under Remote Access (AMDC) in the subsection “Technical-Organizational Measures” (TOMs).

*An contractual affiliation which obliges the employee to work for the employer is legally required. An independent employment contract is not admissible due to the lack of dependence and full integration into the institution. A contract for services is also not admissible since the employee is only obliged to creating a service as such and is not considered to be an employment contract.

AMDC online access to micro data is available with several free services and other services for which we charge fees. Services are related to the pre project phase, the phase during the project and the phase after the project. A detailed description of all services (including prices) are listed under Remote Access (AMDC) in the subsection “service catalogue”.

The services and prices are adjusted once a year.

The online via VDI requires hardware, internet access and a smart (mobile) phone. The required software for your hardware is VMware Horizon Client and a smart (mobile) pone app for 2-factor authentication.

The technical-organizational measures (TOMs)  apply to statistical micro data as well as register data. Details are available under Remote Access (AMDC) in the subsection “Technical-Organizational Measures” (TOMs).

At the VDi we have R ( R-studio), Python (Spyder), STAT or SPSS. Beyond that, we are abel to offer LibreOffice, Jupyter Notebook and Texteditors. Further software packages can be ordered (Service A120) as long as that is technically possible and compliant with the licensing law. The program SAS can not be provided due to technical reasons.

The import of mirco data is service by the AMDC for which you have to pay. Statistics Austria will only permit access to this data after the approval of your scientific institution.

The merger of data sets is only permitted by legally permitted pseudonyms (such as bPK-AS or encrypted firm IDs). Non of the imported data may have identity data of the statistical units.

Further information on the identification ov vbPK-AS individual data are available here:

Pay special attention to the subsections regarding scientific institutions!

For further request, please contact the Federal registry unit or the Austrian Ministry of Finance.


Questions about the Safe Center

The Safe Center is located at Guglgasse 13, 1110 Vienna. The Safe Center provides on-site access to microdata via specailly equipped work places. These work places can be used for a specified period as part of a legal contract. The usage of the Safe Center is provided for all profesionally qualified people and scientific institutions. 

Further information about the Safe Center

In general, all experts and scientific institutions can access micro data in the safe center. All security measures (ie no internet access, no mobile phones, no paper&pencil) are in place to ensure that individual statistical units (individuals, firms) are anonymous and cannot be indirectly identified. Data access is conditional on a research question and the data provided by the Safe Center are subject to data protection legislation (eg. data minimization principle, secrecy regulations …). Researchers with contractual affiliation with a registered scientific institution obtain online access to micro data (§ 31 Abs. 7 Federal Statistics Law) potentially can obtain access to indirect identifiable data. Data access, in any case, is subject to a contract between the researchers and Statistics Austria, which includes research question, duration of the project and prices for using the safe center.

Futher details about the Safe Center. 

A service catalogue for access to micro data in the Safe Center will soon be available on the web page of Statistic Austria. If you have questions, please contact us via the following email adresss

Questions about scientific use files

Scientific Use Files (SUF) are de facto anonymous micro data. Statistic Austria provides this data to researchers. Statistics Austria provides this anonymous data of public statistics as standardized data (SDS) according to special requirements as task specific data (ADS) to research and University teaching.

Futher information about Scientific Use Files and how to access them. 

Statistic Austria provides this data to researchers. Statistics Austria provides this anonymous data of public statistics as standardized data (SDS) according to special requirements as task specific data (ADS) to research and University teaching.

We provide SDS after registration-as downloads (mostly for free ). The registration helps Statistic Austria to understand who is using this data. With registration the users accept the terms for use.

Statistics Austria produces ADS for the individual purpose of researchers respectively. We provide the data as download. ADS files are not free and the price depends on the actual efforts involved in producing the data set.

Micro data as scientific use files are also provided by the Austrian Social Science Data Archive (AUSSDA).

Further information about Scientific Use Files.

Last updated on 2024-03-07.
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